With the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games taking all necessary precautions to keep our Olympic and judo families safe, only participants are allowed to attend the sporting events in person. However, what we lack in crowd we make up for in friendship and we were honoured to have many esteemed friends of judo join us during the first half of the competition.

On Day 3, IJF President Marius Vizer, along with countless other IJF Executive members, hosted the President of the International Olympic Committee, Mr Thomas Bach, to witness an historic day for both judo and for the Olympic Games, as Shohei Ono of Japan took his second Olympic title in an epic final against world champion Lasha Shavdatuashvili. 

Mr. Thomas Bach (left) and Mr. Marius L. Vizer (right) on Day 3 of judo at the Olympic Games

During the preliminary rounds we were honoured by the presence of His Serene Highness the Sovereign Prince ALBERT II, IOC Member and black belt judoka! He looked on as Cedric Bessi of Monaco competed in the -73kg category. 

From left to right: IJF Partner Mr Max-Herve George, IJF President Marius L. Vizer, and HSH Prince ALBERT II

President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, joined the judo family on day 1 of competition, to cheer on the ever-powerful and successful French team. Prime Minister Luvsannamsrai Oyun Erdene of Mongolia witnessed an incredible bronze medal for Mongolia, as three-time Olympian Munkhbat Uratsetseg took home her first Olympic medal. Vjosa Osmani Sadriu, President of the Republic of Kosovo, has also been an eye-witness to key historic moments for her country, as Kosovo won their second and third ever medals in Olympic history! 

Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic of France and IJF President Marius L. Vizer
Vjosa Osmani Sadriu (KOS) President of the Republic of Kosovo

International Olympic Committee members from all over the world also gathered in the Nippon Budokan to watch the excitement of judo come home, many of whom presented the medals to the Olympic champions. H.R.H. Prince Feisal Al Hussein I from Jordan, Olympic Champions and IOC Members from Hungary Mr Pal Schmitt and Mr.  Daniel Gyurta, Ms Aicha Garad Ali of Djibouti, Mr Karl Stoss from Austria, all enjoyed the beauty that Olympic judo has to offer.

National Olympic Committee Presidents came to cheer for their judoka as well, including Japanese Olympic Committee President Mr Yamashita Yasuhiro, President and Vice Presidents of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal Al Saud, and His Highness Fahad Al Saud Vice President. Krisztian Kulcsar, President of the Hungarian Olympic Committee also cheered on the Hungarian judoka of the day, as Brazilian Olympic Committee President Mr Paulo Wanderley Teixeira witnessed the first medal for his country.

H.R.H. Prince Feisal Al Hussein
IJF President with His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal Al Saud
Mr. Pal Schmitt, Olympic Champion and IOC member with Marius Vizer and IJF Partner Max Herve George

On the judo tribune we also found Mr Aziz Abduhakimov, Minister of Tourism and Sports for the Republic of Uzbekistan, Mr Khaltmaa Battulga, President of the Mongolian Judo Association, Mr Mehmet Kasapglu, Minister of Youth and Sports Turkey and IJF Partner Max Herve George. ANOCA President Mr Mustapha Berraf, ASOIF President, Mr Francesco Ricci Bitti, AIPS President Mr Gianni Merlo, Minister of National Education, Youth and Sports of the French Republic Mr Jean-Michel Blanquer and International School Sport Federation President Mr Laurent Petrynka attended and enjoyed the show.

From left to right: IJF Vice President Mr Siteny RANDRIANASOLONIAIKO, IJF World Promotion Director Mr UEMURA Haruki, IJF Refugee Olympic Team Member Ms Nigara SHAHEEN, IJF President Marius Vizer, IJF Refugee Olympic Team Member Mr. Javad Mahjoub IJF General Secretary Jean Luc Rouge
President of the Mongolian Judo Association Mr KHALTMAA Battulga

We are grateful to have had the opportunity to share these unforgettable Olympic moments with our friends, and wish them and their countries the best of luck at the remainder of these Olympic Games!  

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